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  • Global situation worse than ever expected (originally it was thought that there might be 15 million HIV/AIDS cases by 2000; in fact more than 40 million by end of 2001, plus some 20 million cumulative AIDS deaths).
    Five million adults and children became newly infected during 2001 (and 3 million died of AIDS, i.e., about 6 every minute).
  • Although there are some signs of hope, in the absence of treatment almost all those 40 million will die in the coming few years. Clearly this is a lingering, protracted problem with long-lasting impacts.
  • Earlier estimates were that 13 million children would lose their mother or both parents to AIDS by 2001—that figure was already exceeded by 1999 when there were an estimated 13.2 million orphans.

  • Originally, it was never thought AIDS would cause population to get smaller, but this now seems inevitable in countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

  • There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Progress is being made on producing a vaccine, but it will probably be ten or more years before a vaccine will become widely available. Certain combinations of drugs (called anti-retrovirals)
    suppress the activity of HIV in the body for as long as they are being taken, but they do not remove it. The HIV virus remains in the body and becomes active again as soon as the infected person stops taking the drugs.

  • size=”2″>HIV/AIDS is at its worst in Sub-Saharan Africa face=”Arial” size=”2″> (where the overall infection rate is 8.5%, in rest of world it is 0.34%). Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 10% of world population, 70% of world’s HIV-infected persons,
    80% of AIDS deaths and 90% of AIDS orphans. Within Africa, it is at its worst in the countries of Southern & Eastern parts. The worst affected countries are Botswana, (infection rate: 35.8%), Swaziland (25.2%), Zimbabwe (25.1%), Lesotho (23.6%), Zambia (19.5%), and South
    Africa (19.5%).

  • size=”2″>HIV/AIDS is not an African disease. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia HIV incidence is rising faster than anywhere else in the world; in the Russian Federation increase in infections has been so rapid that more new
    HIV diagnoses were reported in the year 2000 than in all previous years of the epidemic combined. In another development, the most populous country in the world, China, has made a startling U-turn by acknowledging that it is facing a potential AIDS epidemic. China’s first national
    conference on HIV/AIDS took place in November 2001 against the sombre UNAIDS estimate that the current figure of HIV incidence in the country stands at more than one million infected and the likelihood is that there will be twenty million cases by 2010. There is grave anxiety about India
    (which tends to deny the seriousness of its problem) with new projections suggesting that in a few years time India might have as many as 35,000,000 people infected with HIV.

  • In Zambia, there are about 870,000 infected (note: compare United States, with 900,000 infected and a rapidly growing problem). Zambia has about 650,000 orphans from AIDS (US Bureau of Census says Zambia has
    1,250,000 orphans). 99,000 died from AIDS in Zambia in 1999 (11 each hour, one every five to six minutes)

  • There were 93,000 new AIDS cases in Zambia in 1999, a little less than the number who died. Hence there was no great increase in prevalence rate, in fact small decline (UNAIDS remarks that in some countries so many
    have already become infected that the pool of people still able to acquire infection has become so small that incidence rates {new infections} will decline).
  • But there are some signs of hope: new cases in Africa in 2000 were fewer than in 1999; there has been a definite decline in infection rate for Zambian girls in 15–20 age range. There has been some success in getting costs of drugs that suppress
    HIV-infection (but without removing it altogether) lowered, but drug treatment (if available) still works out at between two and three US dollars a day (K250,000 to K380,000). Compare this with government’s total health spending of about $7 a year per person. Also, there is great
    uncertainty about the ability of the health system to provide the monitoring and medical care needed by those on the anti-retroviral drugs.
  • Defeating HIV/AIDS through Education
    Statement of JESAM Moderator

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